Climate Change Ministry takes over Zoo management on court orders

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Animals’ food and zoo’s environment being monitored as per international standards
Zubair Qureshi
Ministry of Climate Change in compliance with the orders of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has taken over management of the Marghazar Zoo (Islamabad Zoo) from Metropolitan Corporation of Islamabad (MCI). Chairman of Zoological Survey of Pakistan (ZSP) Altaf Khoro has been given additional charge as the Director of zoo.
The zoo will remain under the climate change ministry until August 29 till further orders by the court. A visible change has been observed in the affairs of the zoo as previously, news of poor conditions of animals’ enclosures, theft and sale of food meant for animals even deaths and disease had made headlines.
Officials of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) on Friday spent a busy day in taking measurements of the animals’ enclosures, examining food that is being given, making a list of “dos and don’ts.” However, above all they are conducting medical examination of the big cats, elephants, bears, monkeys and other animals and birds so that their food and surroundings could be kept under constant watch. International standards are being maintained in these animals’ upkeep and very soon you will see things improved, said Mohibullah an official of the IWMB.
When his attention was drawn to the video footage of a wild bear captured by a visitor and put on social media in which the poor animal could be seen panting, he said the Prime Minister’s office also took notice of the matter and the animal is now in stable condition. Pakistan’s top three vets have conducted the animal’s biopsy and its blood samples have been sent to the Pakistan Veterinary Research Institute. We are waiting for the results of the blood and biopsy tests and as soon as a report comes we shall share it with public, he said.
The bear had two tumors and underwent a surgical procedure and its health is being monitored.
Ali Salman Alvi, a citizen, had contacted the Deputy commissioner publicly on Twitter and said the bear was “dying a slow painful death in this hot and humid weather” and described the bear’s enclosure as “a death cell”. The tweet went viral, with many social media users criticizing the authorities for keeping the animal in this condition.
Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat said on Twitter that although the zoo is not under his administrative control, the bear was examined by a private veterinarian who said the bear was fine.
Chief Justice of IHC, Athar Minallah on July 5 had directed the Ministry of Climate Change to take over Marghzar Zoo to ensure proper care of the animals.
On a petition seeking proper care of the animals the CJ of IHC had given the orders. He observed that a brown bear was injured and there were no proper facilities with the zoo administration to take care of the animal.
Likewise, “animals such as marsh crocodile and Mongolian eagle require specialized care which is not available at Marghzar Zoo,” the court observed.
The court directed to ensure that the brown bear was treated properly. The officials of Islamabad Wildlife Management Board had offered to extend assistance in this regard.
Justice Minallah had directed the secretary climate change ministry to appoint an authorized officer to take over the management of the zoo till the next date of hearing on Aug 29.

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